Shortly after dusk Nov. 5, Daniel Flammia left Gala Fresh Farms in Riverhead after grocery shopping and began to walk home, a familiar ritual for the longtime resident. He had never driven a car.
His sister-in-law, Ellen Flammia, had cautioned him against walking at night.
As Mr. Flammia walked down Oliver Street, he was side-swiped by a passing vehicle that did not stop, according to Riverhead police. The impact left him with two broken legs, Ms. Flammia said. While the crash just after 6 p.m. didn’t appear life-threatening at the time — he was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by Riverhead ambulance volunteers — Mr. Flammia died last Thursday at PBMC after he had been recovering at Acadia Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. He was 47.
Riverhead Det. Sgt. Ed Frost said the investigation into the crash is ongoing and no arrests have been made. A description of the vehicle was not available in the accident report.
Ms. Flammia, who is his only surviving relative along with her children, Patrick, 29, and Krista, 26, said on Friday that she was awaiting official results from the medical examiner as to the cause of death and how specifically it related to the crash.
She remembered her brother-in-law as a “teddy bear.”
“Dan was just a kind-hearted person,” she said. “He was a little challenged, so it made people afraid of him by his appearance.”
Mr. Flammia enjoyed eating at local restaurants, loved music and local events like the country fair, his sister-in-law said.
“He could tell you the name of anything,” Ms. Flammia added. “You’d give him a couple words to a song and he’d be able [to name the title].”
He especially enjoyed blues music and was a big fan of the Blues Festival in Riverhead. He also enjoyed a type of meditation called reiki, which he would do at Green Earth Grocery on Main Street, his sister-in-law said.
He worked for 18 years as a custodian at the Suffolk County Courts in Riverhead.
Mr. Flammia had one brother, Patrick, who died in 1997. Ms. Flammia, who was Patrick’s wife, said he died from a motorcycle accident in Riverhead. Mr. Flammia was predeceased by both his parents as well.
A private cremation was planned with interment Wednesday at Riverhead Cemetery.
WITH TIM GANNON